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A&D Alumni News

Alumni News: 2005–06

ONU Graduate Exhibits During NCECA National Conference
February 23–March 28—March is clay month in Portland, Oregon and galleries throughout the city will be showing a wealth of ceramic artists from all over the country to coincide with the National Council on Education for Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference. Featured at a local gallery will be an Ohio Northern University graduate, Marilyn Lysohir (BA ’72), at the Guadino Gallery.

The title of Marilyn’s show is “Good Girls: 1968 High School Portraits.” The installation is based on a concept that had intrigued her; doing a series of clay portrait busts. While she was home visiting her family in Sharon, Penn., inspiration came from a chance meeting with someone she had gone to high school with 30 years before. It was then that she knew that she would do portraits of all the girls from her 1968 graduating class. Her goal is the ultimate figure of 167 busts, but will be showing at least 30-40 of that number.

“Good Girls” came from growing up in the 1950s and ’60s and always hearing that phrase said by teachers and by others. “You were either a good girl or a bad girl,” said Marilyn. She decided all the girls were “Good Girls.” In relationship to that concept is the fact that Marilyn’s work over the years has always related to the working class backgrounds, and particularly the female aspects of that life.

The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts is a not-for-profit educational organization that provides valuable resources and support for individuals, schools and organizations with an abiding interest in the ceramic arts.

NCECA was founded and developed by forward-thinking ceramic artists who saw the benefits of a professional organization in its ability to create identity, definition and support for the ceramics teacher and artist, and to promote advancement of the ceramic arts. NCECA became an independent organization in 1966, after several years of affiliation with the Ceramics Education Council of the American Ceramic Society.

image: Marilyn Lysohir with her ceramic portraits.

Image“Recent Work” Ceramic Exhibit Featured at Ohio Northern University’s Elzay Gallery of Art
September 2006—
Ohio Northern Alumnus Jack E. Corle’s recent ceramic work is on display in the Elzay Gallery of Art September 5–October 6, 2006. He received his BA in art from Ohio Northern in 1978 and holds a master of fine arts degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Ed has earned many honors and awards for his work, both regionally and nationally. Currently, he is co-director of the art department and an associate professor of art at the University of Findlay, where he was honored last spring for 20 years of service.

Admission to the Elzay Gallery of Art is free and open to the public, daily from noon - 5p.m. For additional information about the University’s exhibition season, contact the department of art at 419-772-2160 or

The Ohio Northern department of art & design offers two major degree programs in studio arts, advertising design and graphic design, and a K-12 licensure program in art education. The department also operates the university’s gallery season, which hosts exhibits distinctly suited to an academic environment.

image: ONU Alumnus Ed Corle's work on display in the Elzay Gallery of Art

It Came From Left Field Exhibition Features Ohio Northern Relationship
October–December, 2006
—The University of Minnesota, Morris Humanities Fine Arts Gallery presented “It Came From Left Field,” featuring works by Harry Melroy, Herbert Rieth and Jayson Triplett. The exhibition a number of narrative paintings as well as mixed-media work.

Little did they know it, but two of the artists were in some way connected to Ohio Northern University. Melroy is from Ohio and received a bachelor’s degree from ONU and a master of fine arts degree in painting from Northern Illinois University. Melroy teaches in the Mohawk school district and has been an instructor at Tiffin University and the University of Findlay.

Also with a connection to Ohio Northern, Herb Rieth is from Mississippi and attained his bachelor in fine arts degree in 2001 from Indiana University Southeast. He later attended the University of Cincinnati where he completed his master in fine arts degree in 2004. A year later he taught at Ohio Northern University where he was responsible for a number of foundation classes in the art & design department. Currently, Rieth is an instructor of art at Mississippi State University.

Each of the artists included in the “It Came From Left Field” exhibition included an element of the absurd and bizarre in their work. Harry Melroy uses vibrant colors and scenes from the Midwest mixed with extra-terrestrials to achieve bizarre encounters in his pieces. Herbert Rieth uses the element of absurd, prompting the viewer to look at themselves through presented narratives and quirky characters. Music and comic book culture appear in Jayson Triplett’s work, and is described to act as, “A swamp boogie missile against an ever expanding greed machine.”

The exhibition ran from October 4-December 2, 2006.

image: Work by Herb Rieth

ImageAlumna Curates Exhibit for Defiance’s Founding
By Jack Palmer, Crescent News
April 21, 2005

The city of Defiance celebrated its birthday last April with hall of fame induction ceremonies, parades and concerts. Slated at Defiance College, the event also featured the display of a small sampling of artifacts bequeathed to the city by the late Andrew Tuttle.

Tuttle bequeathed historical items to the city, including rare coins and Indian artifacts on condition they be displayed in a museum named after him.

The collection has now been inventoried, thanks to the tireless efforts of Defiance resident and 2004 graduate Ashley Dally. She also curated and designed the exhibit.

“This was just a minute sampling of the collection, but it included a variety of different items,” Dally said. “We were still in the process of doing research on several of the items, but we want to eventually display the entire collection for the community. Andrew Tuttle was a world traveler, and the collection was both unique and impressive.”

image: Ashley Dally working on the Andrew Tuttle artifacts in Defiance. 

Artist Returns to Roots, Painting for Ohio FFA
By Ruth Ansley, Kenton Times
May 23, 2005

Hardin County native Jodi Hassan, BFA ’93, has lived her life by expressions of absolute faith; a faith exacted through life-long action and effort.

Growing up on a sixth generation family farm in Cessna Township, being involved with FFA and organizations like 4-H were a traditional part of Hassan’s life and cultivated a deep love and appreciation for the agricultural world around her. Though her love for agriculture would not ultimately transfer into her working firsthand on the family farm, it would draw her down a pathway which would allow her to give back to the organization and community in which she loved.

Throughout her youth, Hassan had also been cultivating a love and skill for painting.

“It seems like something I’ve always been doing,” she said. “I remember sitting at the kitchen table at my grandmother’s house with a piece of paper in front of me, content for hours.”

It was that love that Hassan decided to pursue after graduating from Hardin Northern High School in 1988. She began pursuing a fine arts degree at Ohio Northern University and also attended the Columbus College of Art and Design before returning to ONU and graduating with a bachelor of fine arts degree with a focus in graphic design and photography.

“Though I tend to enjoy all genres and mediums, as time passed I began to really look at acrylic as my favorite medium,” said Hassan. “I like painting the things around me, and since I grew up in Hardin County, my paintings tend to flow toward agriculture. I paint what I see and know.”

Hassan’s motivation, determination and enthusiasm as well as her talent won her recognition and professional positions in studios from Cleveland to Dayton, but she never forgot her rural roots.

“When I think back to living in the city, so much of the survival techniques I needed I had learned through FFA,” she said.

image: ONU Alumna Jodi Hassan

ImageAlumnus Begins Career in Higher Education
September 1, 2005

Mr. Luke Sheets, BFA ’95, is a new professor in the department of art & design. He is responsible for the 3D curriculum, including ceramics, sculpture and jewelry/small metals. Luke takes over the program from retiring professors Judith Greavu and Bruce Chesser.

Luke earned his MFA from Bowling Green State in 2000 and has exhibited in galleries and competitions across the country and in Japan. His work has been part of international juried exhibitions, invitationals, and the Ishikawa International Salon in Kanazawa, Japan. He has been a visiting instructor at Middlebury College. Luke also taught for Saint Michael’s College in Vermont; the Young Artists at Work program in Toledo; the Youth at Work: Ceramic Art Summer Honors Institute for the Gifted and Talented in Bowling Green; and until recently, was the resident potter at Frog Hollow (Vermont State Craft Center) in Middlebury. He has attended numerous workshops and other professional conferences.

Before coming to ONU, Luke lived in Kanazawa City, Japan, with his family. He said, that, “I continued to supplement my formal education with first-hand exposure to a variety of Japanese art forms. In particular, I studied local ceramic styles such as Kutani’s painted porcelain and Suzu’s highly textured wood-fired pottery. I also enjoyed my studio situation where I worked with two local artists of diverse interests and talents. Now I look forward to working with the art faculty to further strengthen our curriculum.”

ONU Alumnus Featured for Exhibit
September 2005

From September until October of 2005, the paintings and drawings of 1971 Ohio Northern University graduate, Harry Melroy, hung in the Diane Kidd Gallery at Tiffin University. The works were part of Melroy’s exhibition entitled Recent Quirks.

Among his eight charcoal, colored pencil, and graphite drawings and twelve acrylic paintings, Melroy’s quirks included Fear of Valet Parking, Last Minute Instructions, Pollen Dealer, and Inky Dinky Trips Again.

The exhibition was not Melroy’s first solo show. He has also been the sole feature at exhibitions in Findlay and Mansfield. He has exhibited in Toledo and Cleveland museums, and his work has been part of regional and national conventions too.

Currently, Melroy is teaching art to Mohawk Local School District’s elementary and junior high school students, and he is instructing courses in two-dimensional design at the University of Findlay. In the past, Melroy was an adjunct professor at Tiffin University as well.

Prof. Michael Howell, head of art and art history at Tiffin, notes that Melroy’s art “has always invited unusual interpretations and emotions, with its vivid colors and composition, and striking, sometimes surreal images of spaceships, vehicles in odd suspension and people that resemble bugs than human beings.”

To that remark, Melroy replied, “I want people to be able to say ‘I like the work, even if I don’t understand it.’”

ImageONU Alumna Selected for Prestigious Ceramic Exhibit
October 1, 2003

Marilyn Lysohir (BA ’72) was selected to participate in an exhibit called, “21st Century Ceramics in the United States and Canada” which was held at the Canzani Center Gallery on the campus of the Columbus College of Art and Design from October 11 – December 7, 2003. Marilyn’s pieces which were accepted into the show included:

The Tattooed Ladies and the Dinosaur

Tiles from the Tattooed Ladies

21st Century Ceramics offered an extensive survey of the best of current ceramics. This sweeping exhibition featured 500 distinctive works from 250 of the top professional North American ceramists.

Exhibited in CCAD's 10,000-square-foot gallery, 21st Century Ceramics was a unique opportunity to study the diversity of work being created by contemporary ceramic artists. The exhibition showcased the current styles and difections beging explored by professional ceramists, from purely traditional pottery to cutting edge clay and tile installations.

image: installation view of The Tattooed Ladies and the Dinosaur

ONU Alumnus Awarded Governor's Award
Dan Overly (BA ’67) received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in an elegant ceremony held at the Old Capital Museum in Jackson, Mississippi.

Coordinated by the Mississippi Arts Commission, the Governor’s Award is given in recognition of significant contributions to artistic life in the state.

“Receiving the award was a surprise and a tremendous honor,” said Dan. He was nominated for the award by a committee of peers and had five letters of recommendation. At the ceremony, which was broadcast on public television, he received a folk art carving for his award.

Overly has an extensive background in the arts. While at ONU, he majored in biology and fine arts. After graduation, he taught at Upper Scioto Valley High School, McGuffey and Big Walnut Middle School in Sunbury, Ohio. He served as a special assistant to the superintendent of schools in Greenwood, Mississippi, where he coordinated the arts in the schools.

After earning his master’s degree in art administration, he served as the Mississippi State crafts coordinator. While coordinator, he stared the Mississippi Craft Center on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Jackson.

He was also appointed by the Carter administration to serve on the crafts panel for the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C.

For 17 years, he was the executive director of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi and he has served on the editorial advisory board for the Crafts Reporter for 15 years. A number of his book reviews, articles and photographs have been published in the American Craft magazine.

Overly is the founder of the Schools of Craft and Design at Millsaps College in Jackson. The school was an alternate program which ran in tandem with the art department and featured professional seminars, speakers and international guests artists.

Although he is now retired, Dan still serves on panels and boards and enjoys photography. He’s an avid gardener who combines his biology background with his artistic talent. His unique garden is one of two gardens in the United States featured in the book, Secret Gardens, by Rosemary Verey. Verey is gardening advisor for Prince Charles of England.

image: ONU Alumnus Dan Overly during his acceptance speech at the Old Capital Museum in Mississippi.

Department of Art & Design

Ann Hood

Wilson Art Building
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
Monday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed